Audio Baluns Installed
I know many are going to find my Christmas gifts strange but home automation is probably one of my favorite hobbies and it's a perfect alternative to cycling when circumstances don't permit a ride (ie; weather, visitors, etc).
Today I installed a pair of Intelix Dual Stereo Audio Baluns (p/n avo-a4-pac-f) between the wiring closet and home theater closet to replace the Sondigo Wireless Audio Bridge (p/n SWS-1). The Sondigo is supposed to transmit 5.1 audio to any location via LAN or wireless and it generally does an acceptable job. But, the drivers have never been finished which meant anytime the computer was rebooted it required manual intervention to fix the Sondigo connection and our answering machine. It's the answering machine that finally demanded the Sondigo be replaced because we need it to be absolutely 100% reliable. Also, those of you who've visited know the music had a "nasty" habit of cutting out every few songs for about a second and that was driving me nuts. A couple years ago I removed the sheet rock in the theater closet to run new HDMI cables for the projector which replaced the 50' BNC cable. But, I was "smart" and installed four conduits which run from the double/triple j-boxes into the attic. Today I used the conduit for the first time to run a pair of CAT-5 cable from the theater closet to the wiring closet, but it took a couple trips to the attic, not fun when it's the attic over the bonus room (maybe 3.5' of vertical space at the peak).
A couple lessons learned:
- Mark the wire (ie; electrical tape) at an appropriate length so I know the cable has exited the other end of the conduit. Would have prevented two trips to the attic.
- Since I was running two CAT-5 cables it would've been smart to mark the ends of both cables to know which was which later.
I've also done a quick test of rebooting the home automation computer and sure enough the answering machines works without a problem! But, I guess things can't go perfectly since the fan for the power supply is now making a noise. Also, the audio levels of the onboard sound card (Realtek) w/baluns compared to the Sondigo are completely different. I figure a good part of the neighborhood heard the weather forecast for today when I tested the paging portion, describing it as loud was an understatement.